Wellington to Nelson

Fri 19 February 2021

It felt like I had barely put my head on the pillow when my alarm went off at 1am. I jumped out of bed and had a quick shower before heading across the street to the ferry terminal. Inside, I checked in my pack and then JoJo turned up which was a nice surprise as I thought that he had gone across the strait yesterday. We walked onboard together and found two rows of chairs in the forward lounge that could become our beds for the 3.5 hour journey to Picton. The ferry departed shortly after 2.30am and we chatted and caught up for a while before trying to squeeze ourselves onto chairs that are not designed for sleeping on. The onboard cabins were fully booked – I had checked. When I woke up we were in the Queen Charlotte Sound so I guess I must have dozed for a couple of hours and before we knew it we were berthed and walking off into Picton. JoJo will be taking the water taxi to Ships Cove this morning to start the Queen Charlotte Track, the first section of his TA journey down the South Island. I spent time catching up with friends at Sounds Connection, Beachcomber and Marlborough Sounds Adventure Co until it was time to catch the 1pm bus to Nelson. Covid protocols called for mask wearing on all public transport (not ferries) and Intercity had sent an email and text to advise that a mask was necessary. Some wore masks and others did not.

Once in Nelson I checked into the Trailways hotel for the night. Nelson is surprisingly busy and I get the last room. I am quite tired after the early morning and long day so am starting to fade by 6pm. I am also looking forward to getting into the Nelson Lakes tomorrow.

The Straitsman loading up (approx 2am)
The forward lounge where we slept across the chairs
Sunrise in the Queen Charlotte Sound
Down the hatch
Me and JoJo about to disembark in Picton
On South Island soil
Admiring the Sounds Connection fishing boat, Tory
“Mikhail Lermontov” lifeboat from the 1986 sinking in Port Gore
Marlborough vineyard
The granite steps leading up to Christ Church Cathedral from Trafalgar Street are named after Thomas Cawthron, the founder of the Cawthron Institute, a scientific research centre in Nelson.
Categories: 2020 Te Araroa

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